Grace Jones, a nine-year-old from Staffordshire, has raised over £400 for our charity by riding on her pony – just one year after an accident forced her out the saddle.
Grace and her pony Cwki will ride 30 miles in one month to raise money. Grace’s Dad serves in the RAF and she spent the first few years of her life living on military bases. In 2018, the family returned permanently to Staffordshire, although her Dad still serves away in the week at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire. Having moved from a school with lots of military children to Ravensmead Primary School. Grace suddenly found she was the only military child amongst her friends. She decided to fundraise for Little Troopers to help raise awareness of some of the challenges faced by Armed Forces children, such as having a parent serving away from home and moving house and school regularly.
Grace said: “I’m really proud to be a military child but it can be hard sometimes. I wanted to do this challenge to raise awareness so that other people know what it’s like for children like me. I wanted to support Little Troopers as they have helped me while my Dad has been away and when I’ve moved house and school.”
An avid horse rider, Grace broke her arm after falling off her horse last year and had to have two operations. Grace and Cwki have only been riding together since January but are now the best of friends.
Grace’s fundraising challenge is officially sponsored by the Activequine app which has launched a ‘Ride with Grace’ challenge for other riders to download and take part in. £1 will be donated for every rider who completes the challenge and buys a special ‘Ride with Grace’ rosette. UK toy company, Crafty Ponies, has also been supporting Grace by sharing her challenge online and Grace’s own Crafty Pony, Mo, has joined her and Cwki on some rides.
Grace’s mum, Louise, comments: “This has all been Grace’s idea. She got up one morning and decided she wanted to raise money for Little Troopers so that her friends and others would understand more about military life and she started her challenge the next day! She set out to raise £50 but we have been overwhelmed by people’s kindness and generosity. We are so proud of Grace. She’s really built back her riding confidence after her accident and is a very determined little girl.”
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, adds: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Grace for choosing our charity. There are still hundreds of thousands of military children in the British Armed Forces community. Military life can bring its challenges for them, as well as its adventures. It’s thanks to fundraisers like Grace that we can help more Little Troopers feel recognised and celebrated. Every penny raised goes towards initiatives and resources specifically designed to support forces children.”
Grace is due to complete her challenge on 13th June. To sponsor her click here.